Energy efficient supermarkets - Food waste
About 1/3 of all food produced does not reach the stomach. Reduced food waste gives triple profit - more satiated stomachs, better economy and less environmental impact. In the UN's Global Sustainability Goals (SDG12.3), the goal is to halve global food waste per person at the consumer level, and reduce food waste throughout the food chain.
Foods are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and must be handled with great care. One way to reduce food waste can be to lower the temperature in the cold chain so that the temperatures are optimal - from producer via transporter and store to households. However, a lower temperature could have other consequences - for example, increased energy use and the need for investments.
Cleaning of heat exchangers in display cabinets
Dirt and dust are drawn into cooling batteries during operation and sometimes food packages break so that the content drips down into the counter. Contamination can cause decreased efficiency in the counter’s cooling coil, reduced air flow and clogging of drains, which can lead to an increased energy demand for cooling the air in the counter and to ruined food due to inadequate cooling. A checklist for washing cooling batteries has been produced.
Small-scale biogas plant at large grocery stores
The possibility of establishing a small-scale biogas plant at larger grocery stores to handle the food waste that arises in stores has been investigated. If technical, economic, and environmental aspects are considered, the assessment is that it is better to transport the grocery store’s food waste to a digestion plant nearby.
Differentiated temperatures in store freezers
The temperature in freezers in food stores should be -18 °C, which is suitable for many foods but not all. The low temperature retards processes that deteriorate the food. The aim of this project is to suggest foods suitable for storage at -12 °C and to calculate the electricity savings in a specific store and nationally. To summarise, it is possible to save electricity by increasing the storage temperature of frozen vegetables, but these are moderate and should be preceded by studies of the effect on the food quality.
Optimal refrigeration temperatures in Swedish supermarkets
One way to reduce food waste can be to lower the temperature in the cold chain so that the temperatures are optimal. The National Food Administration's proposal is that the storage temperature for refrigerated goods should be a maximum of 4 ° C. This feasibility study has investigated consequences it could entail with regard to increased energy use and the need for investments. The results show, among other things, the importance of all industries along the food cold chain / value chain having to work more and better together towards common goals.
Optimala kyltemperaturer (only in Swedish) (pdf, 707.19 KB)
The possibility of raising the freezer storage temperature for frozen goods in stores
In Sweden, approximately 7 TWh is consumed annually for cooling food, which constitutes approximately five percent of Sweden's total electricity consumption. The stores' share of electricity consumption is smaller than that of households, but is still of the order of TWh. This corresponds to annual costs in the billion class. Therefore, there is reason to examine this consumption and whether it can be reduced.
Chip in food for less waste
Every year, we throw 1.2 million tonnes of food in Sweden. Some fully edible, only that the best before date has passed. SIK (Institute for food and biotechnology) is a solution on the tracks - a chip on the packaging that gives the food the right status.
Chip i mat för mindre svinn (only in Swedish) (pdf, 251.91 KB)
What effect would lowered temperature in the cold chain have on food waste?
Every year, approximately one million tonnes of food waste is generated in the Swedish food chain. Part of this is food waste, i.e. food waste that could have been avoided, food that was thrown away but could have been eaten if it had been handled differently. The aim of this project is to investigate how food waste at the retail and consumer level would be affected by a reduced temperature in the cold chain. The project is divided into three parts, a calculation model, a literature review and an interview study.